This article has been written by Subodh Asthana, currently studying in the 2nd Year of Hidayatullah National Law University. The author in this article discusses the importance and how to use LinkedIn more efficiently and effectively as a student in a Law School.
Although Bar Council has put a restriction on the commercial advertisement of law practice, but if one has to be successful in this field, he/she has to advertise oneself to the audience, that too in a professional manner. A question will strike your mind ‘How you will do it’? The feasible answer to this question will be to do this by reaching the public as a whole, but this in itself is also a question as to how you will do it, by following each and everyone on Instagram or by sending friend requests to people on Facebook. Well if you do this then your efforts will be in vain, for this you need to choose a professional platform which is no better than LinkedIn.
As I have already stated in the introduction that Law is all about connections and approach, there can be two circumstances, either your dad in this field has connections with big shots lawyer or law firms or you are a first-generation lawyer from your family. If you fall in the first case then you have to sit back and relax in law school and live a thug life, but by default, you are in the second category as many students are then you have to do every possible effort to advertise yourself. Some of you will ask what is the ideal time when one should start advertising oneself and start making connections? A feasible answer would be the time as soon as you join law school “Join the race of making connections”. It is very useful and beneficial if you start early. Starting early has always benefitted every individual as it has been rightly remarked that “Preparation today leads to success tomorrow”. As soon as you enter law school Start interacting with your seniors, Do Positive interaction with them. If they give you any academic tasks like bringing notes for them, getting something photocopied etc. just do it for them because this is how they would start knowing you and thus you’re your marketing and promotional activities start from there itself.
It is as same as you are a product in a market and you have to promote yourself. Some of you may even say why to do these kinds of stuff, let your work speak. This is right but in the professional world, it is very significant that people must first know you, then only they will take your service and decide whether you are apt for the particular work or not. “A bad product cannot be sold by a good marketing but good marketing can do wonders by the best marketing”. This is how you must promote yourself.
Getting Started with LinkedIn
As soon as one start law school, the first and foremost step must be to make your LinkedIn account and make your LinkedIn page by uploading your professional picture and writing your valid credentials viz. College details, additional information, in case you want to add, but make sure that, as a student, your profile should be too broad and please don’t try to brag about yourself on LinkedIn, Just keep it as simple as possible. Some benefits if you are having a LinkedIn account are as follows:
- It helps to build your online presence and people can easily search you on Google and if you have an active LinkedIn account, then your name will appear on the topmost Google searches making better chances of people knowing you. Therefore, LinkedIn helps you in giving an online presence and believe me it will be always beneficial.
- You can easily apply for jobs on LinkedIn because the connections you will make on LinkedIn will post about the various jobs prospects and also if there is any job vacancy in a company. So you get to know where you can apply to get a particular job.
- There are various firms and startups who even select their employees by looking as to how much they are active on their LinkedIn page. Being active here means posting various articles, how they perceive contemporary ideas etc.
- Many big shots of the legal industry like Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and partners of various reputed Tier 1 law firms have their online LinkedIn presence; just imagine how easy it is for you to target them as your audience. In real life, you have to take appointments just to meet them for a few seconds but here they are virtually present at every point of time.
- As a student you can easily get internships on LinkedIn, there are many examples who have mainly got their internships in CAM, SAM, Trilegal and in Khaitan etc. Because of their online presence on LinkedIn.
- Also, it is much more credible than Facebook, Instagram and even Twitter. Like nowadays Facebook and Instagram are flushed with too many political discussions and news but it is not same with LinkedIn, also you get recommendations and endorsements with people whom you have worked with and therefore it increases your credibility and originality as a whole.
- One can also target the boss and company with whom one wants to work with.
As soon as you start your law school following are steps which one must follow in order to use LinkedIn in a more efficient and effective manner so that it actually benefits you:
Making Your LinkedIn ID
The first step is to make your LinkedIn ID by uploading your professional photograph and filling all the valid credentials about yourself which may attract law firms and people, also decide your target audience in your LinkedIn like Law, Management etc. It must be also ensured that you complete all the formalities and information asked by the LinkedIn and thus make an All-Star Profile so that it may increase the frequency of views of your profile on the LinkedIn.
Connect with seniors and your college Alumni
After you are done with creating your profile, the next step should be to make connections starting with your college seniors and your college alumni who have passed the college. LinkedIn will then start suggesting you the persons associated with the law field and thus you must start connecting to them. There might be some people who don’t accept your Connection request but at last, don’t be disheartened by this, but most of the time people will accept your request.
Start Writing and Posting on LinkedIn
Now it’s the time to increase your connections and it will happen by any promo code or a passcode but for this you have to be active on LinkedIn, just start writing about your college experience till now, if you have done any internship just post that experience, start writing blogs and articles on websites about your understanding of any contemporary legal issue and just sharing them on LinkedIn so that it may appear on the timeline of your connections and if it someone likes it, the same article will be made available to the connections of the person who liked it and that is how people will start knowing you. If your article gets a considerable amount of response from people then it will be shown on the wall of LinkedIn which all the people can now read your article and therefore you have made your presence to more than millions of people who are LinkedIn users because all the websites work on some or the other algorithms. This is how it will benefit you in the longer run. Also if your research paper is published then post the same on LinkedIn, also if you have done considerably better in any of the Moot Court Competitions and want to share your experience about the same, you must go on and write. The only key to increase your connections and followers is to just go on and post anything you want to which is related professionally with your career aspects.
- Join Groups and Follow the Pages which you like
One may also follow some pages related to legal field mainly of major law firms and various groups as well where the Key Managerial Persons related with the field of law give their knowledge and insights who have their expertise in different fields of law. You might be shocked to know that the major law firms like Khaitan, CAM, SAM, etc. have their LinkedIn pages and it is much more updated from their website. Some firms even spend a considerable amount on these pages to get more followers. Therefore if you follow these pages you may get access to many articles written on a particular topic by the partners and associates of that particular. One who is using LinkedIn effectively is very much aware of the industry requirements and how much a particular industry is growing. E.g. You will be pretty much aware of the fact that where is the scope and where you can excel, let it be Intellectual Property Rights, Mergers and Acquisitions, Securities Law and Cyber Law etc. If you are active on LinkedIn you might know that these are the coming fields of law who will have better scope than the conventional ones. There are various universities who are teaching space law as well. So, if you are active on LinkedIn you may actually be aware of the contemporary and the upcoming fields of law.
You may never know that a particular employer or an HR manager has been looking at your posts and might be following you consistently from the time when you actually made your account. So the point here is that if you won’t be active on LinkedIn and not post any blogs and articles then your growth on the platform will be stagnant. Therefore your growth must be always visible to the recruiter or the people who will endorse you with work in future.
Build a Credibility
After making connections and posting on the account, the next and the foremost step one must do is to start building your credibility so they people may endorse you with work. After when you complete your internship, always ask a Key Managerial Person to endorse and recommend you on LinkedIn so that it may help to create your credibility and originality of a person. E.g. imagine if you are endorsed and recommended by a Partner of Law Firm on LinkedIn during your internship period, it will really have a good effect on your growth because it will be visible to the recruiter and users of LinkedIn as a whole that a particular has been endorsed by a Partner of Tier 1 Law Firm. Thus, it helps to create your credibility in the Legal Industry.
Therefore concluding with the topic it is very important as a lawyer and even as a law student to have an online presence on LinkedIn. There are many people who have got job offers and internship opportunities because of their using LinkedIn. It is to be also taken care that you don’t go on bragging and also don’t post too much garbage on LinkedIn like any political thoughts. Draw a line (Lakshman Rekha) in your mind as to how you have to go on using LinkedIn like what are the important things and experience which you want to share with your connections keeping in mind that a particular experience is related professionally because no one likes to read Opinion Polls of BJP and Congress on LinkedIn. Also if you follow the above advice as to how you have to go on using, it will be very beneficial for your professional growth. People will actually start knowing you and also imagine that situation if you are sitting in an interview and the person taking your interview is your follower on LinkedIn, then just imagine the advantage you have over other candidates. Also if you are a lawyer and your client knows more about, he will obviously show more confidence and reliability on you because he already knows you virtually as to what kind of person you are. LinkedIn is very beneficial for the professional growth of each and every person. I would conclude by quoting that “You can’t sell anything if you can’t tell anything”. So here LinkedIn is the platform where you can tell masses about your professional services.